Cruijff’s death just hours after hospital arrival

Johan Cruijff died just hours after arriving at the hospital for treatment. No one saw it coming, sports journalist and good friend Jaap de Groot said to the Telegraaf.

"It was a matter of hours. It really went really fast", De Groot said. "Johan went for treatment, then the family was told to come to the hospital immediately. After that it went very quickly."

De Groot was overwhelmed with the news, he said to the newspaper. Two weeks ago Johan was positive and doing well. "The tumor in his head was gone. But now it appears that soon after things came back. It spread at such a pace that he hand no chance", he said. "I knew things were going worse with Johan these past two weeks and I knew the seriousness of the situation. This just shows how ruthless such a disease strikes."

Cruijff passed away surrounded by his family on Thursday afternoon. Miniutes after his death was announced, commemorations and tributes started pouring out on social media. Cruijff's face can be seen on most all newspapers in the Netherlands on Friday.

"Johan once said to me that he would hate to be judged solely on the years he was active as a football player and coach." De Groot said. "He said he also hopes to be remembered for the other areas in which he worked in society. Johan was much more than just a football player. This is also evident from the impact his passing made. He inspired people outside sports. He was a unique man, a jewel for the Netherlands."